The classic quote from Otto von Bismack is “Laws are like sausages, it is better not to see them being made.” CSPAN disagrees, but this bit from a recent D.C. Register certainly lends some support to the idea that making law is messy: When you change who can marry from a man and a woman to any two consenting adults, you find that words like “wife” can be problematic.
A few days after the council passed the marriage equality bill they amended the D.C. code to fix some word choices. They had to change sections of the code talking about filing tax returns by “striking the phrase “husband and wife” and inserting the phrase “a married couple” in its place.”
There’s also an addition indicating that married same-sex couples will be able to file a joint return or separate returns on a combined form, similar to how domestic partnerships are specified on the existing tax forms. The city’s tax website suggests that if you entered into a same-sex partnership in another state you should keep checking back for the appropriate forms, which are not yet listed there.